Long Term House Sitting Perth, WA: Secrets to Success

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house sitting perth
House sitting in Perth could lead to a Western Australian adventure. Photo by Nathan Hurst/Unsplash

Want long term house sitting Perth opportunities (or other beautiful Western Australian locations such as Fremantle and Mandurah)? Here are the secrets from 2+ years of house sitting. But shhh, I didn’t tell you!

What Is House Sitting?

House sitting is a trust-based transaction between a homeowner and a housesitter, who cares for the home and pets while the owner is away, in exchange for free rent and utilities*.

*A minority are paid, but mostly for short periods, or when the house sit requires additional pet health care or property maintenance.

Homeowners save money on boarding for their pets, while increasing security in their homes by having someone there. You save money on accommodation while travelling or saving, all while receiving endless pet snuggles. House sits can be short-term (a few days) or long-term (up to a year or more).

After house sitting almost full time for the past two years in Australia, this post contains the secrets that I have learned during that time, so you too can successfully score long-term house-sitting in Perth (or further afield).

Why House Sitting Perth?

There were 53 house sitting opportunities posted on Aussie House Sitters in the 7 days before this post was published. Perth (and Western Australia) offer a vastly different experience to the East Coast of Australia. It is the gateway to Fremantle and Margaret River region in the south and Geraldton and Broome to the north.

With almost 2 million residents, it is a cosmopolitan city with easy access to stunning beaches and landscapes. Unlike Darwin and Brisbane, Perth has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

(c) Kate Zarb - Oh, Nomad! [ohnomad.com]
Do you want to the secrets to travelling and living for free with adorable animals? Image © Kate Zarb / ohnomad.com

House Sitting Perth Secrets

Western Australia (WA) and Perth Public Holidays

Many homeowners plan their holidays around public holidays, adding any accrued leave from their jobs to the dates on which their workplace is closed. Or, they leave at this time to spend time with friends and family during ‘the holidays’ – especially Christmas and Easter.

If you want to secure a long house sit in Perth, being available during these times means that you are much more likely to ‘lock something in’ and will have greater choice than at other times of the year.

Australia/WA Public HolidaysDate/s
New Year’s DayJanuary 1*
Australia DayJanuary 26
Easter (Good Friday, Easter Saturday/Sunday/Monday)Early-Mid April
ANZAC DayApril 25
Labour Day1st Monday in May
Western Australia Day1st Monday in June
King’s Birthday1st Monday in October
Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day)December 24-26#
*If New Years Day falls on a weekend, the public holiday may be on January 3.
#The Holidays Act 1983 provides for an extra public holiday to be added when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day falls on a weekend.

Consider also being in Perth for the colder months – May to September – when many people leave for warmer climates. ‘Off peak’ house sitting opportunities usually have less competition.

House sitting during Perth holiday periods can lead to greater opportunities. Photo by Harry Cunningham/Unsplash

House Sitting Perth Locations

Perth suburbs like East Perth and Subiaco are very popular (as well as Cottesloe in the south), so if you are willing to travel a bit further out of the city, you’ll maximise your chances of securing the longer house sits.

House Sitting Western Australia

Think about travelling outside of Perth to other Western Australian centres to maximise your chances of success:

House Sitting Fremantle

Just 30 minutes south of Perth, Fremantle house sitting is a good alternative to the busy city bustle. This port city has attractions such as Fremantle Arts Centre and Fremantle Markets to explore on your weekends.

House Sitting Mandurah

Less than an hour southwest of Perth, Mandurah is another good house sitting option. Mandurah Community Museum and Halls Head Beach are two attractions that you don’t want to miss if you house sit there.

Meet With Homeowners

While Perth residents (Perthlings?) are generally a relaxed bunch – homeowners like to get to know the house sitters that will take care of their home – especially long term. For house sits over a month, as soon as I’ve spoken to the homeowner over the phone, I try and organise a ‘meet and greet’. If I’m in another city, I let them know the dates that I will be near them and schedule an approximate date to meet.

I believe that this shows commitment to the house sit and this gesture will make you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to the pets and to get a ‘feel’ for the house, the location and what will be required from you during your stay.

If you meet with difficult or disrespectful homeowners, I’d rather know this before I spend months in their homes! Yet, you often meet with people in person only to find that you quickly bond and agree to the house sit.

‘Meet and greets’ are good for both repoire and trust building with pets and owners. Photo by Freya Dione/Unsplash

Finally, if you want to maximise your chances of getting that long-term house to sit in Perth, here are some tips:

  • Use the ‘Alert’ feature on Aussie House Sitters to be notified via email when house sits of 2-4 weeks/1 month or more are listed and apply as soon as you can – Go to ‘My Account” > ‘Useful Tools’ > ‘My Alerts’ > ‘New Alert’;
  • Apply for a National Police Certificate ($59AUD) to reassure homeowners of your suitability;
  • Provide a link to your social media accounts and/or full name in your application, so homeowners can ‘Google’ you;
  • Keep it all about them – ask questions about where they are going, how they like things done around the house and their preferences. Read their ad, listen carefully and take notes of these for later. Clarify anything unclear about their expectations.

In a trust-based exchange like house sitting, the more that you show yourself to be a considerate and trustworthy house sitter, the more success you’ll have. Once you have a few good references (in addition to being available on public holidays, meeting with owners quickly and being flexible in your choice of location), you’ll be long-term house-sitting Perth and WA-wide before you know it.

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